Big Fun in Big Sur

Posted on Sep 16, 2013 in Travel

Big Sur is a very sparsely populated area on the Central Coast of California that is famous for some of the most dramatic coastline in the entire world. Big Sur got its name from the Spanish name, “El Pais de Grande Sur” which means the big country of the south (because it is south of San Francisco).

Big Sur extends from San Luis Obisbo to Monterey and it is some of the grandest and most amazing coastline that you could ever visit.  Before HighWay 101 was built Big Sur was so wild that it was nearly inaccessible so very few people would ever go to visit.  Up until the 1950’s only two homes in the entire region had electricity.  This was truly the last of the last of the wild west.

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Can you imagine coming to this area in the 1800’s?  It must have been amazing.  Too bad that during the Gold Rush most of the Coastal Redwoods were cut down.  That is a tragedy.  The area has since been designated as a park and it is well protected.


When you drive through Big Sur, the road winds and zig zags for miles and miles and miles.  About 60 miles actually.  You will need at least half a day if not a full day to make the entire drive because you will want to stop at many of the scenic views along the road.


The first white settlers moved to Big Sur in 1862 after they were promised 160 acres of free land if they went to the place and built their homes.  The settlers would primarily make their money by harvesting bark and selling it.


We stopped off and saw an amazing location that looked like it was an Oasis straight out of the movies.   A waterfall descends on a white sandy beach and stone outcroppings with trees and vegetation grow from the sea.  It was simply an amazing place.


Big Sur is heavily populated with thousands and thousands of sea otter.  In fact the whole coast is populated with tons of wildlife, seals and birds.  Big Sur is a great place to camp and hike.


The cliffs in Big Sur are so dramatic and so steep that it can be pretty alarming when you stand on the edges.  In some cases you could drop several hundred feet on to the rocks below.   Here, Tu stands on tree stumps.  Just behind her, the cliffs drop off what must be 500 hundred feet or more to the coast below.


Bixby Bridge is one of the most iconic photo locations in California.  If you come to California or see any pictures of the most beautiful places, Bixby Bridge will definitely be on the list.  I put Bixby Bridge and Big Sur on my list of the 10 most beautiful places in California – 10 Most Beautiful Places in California.

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Bixby Bridge actually looks great when the skies are cloudy and dramatic.  This is a picture that I took last time I drove there and I like how the skies a little cloudy which made the pictures more interesting.


You can see our gallery of pictures here – Big Sur Gallery.